HELP! Give us your opinion on automatic protection zones around beacons?

We’ve been thinking about the Beacon system and the conflicts that can arise when plotting near others. Plotting close to another player can cause tension. Often this is resolved by players directly. But sometimes it falls onto the devs to review reports against the Code of Conduct. In general simply building near someone isn’t against the code - but it doesn’t mean other players like it.

Ideally we’d like to find a system that feels fair to all players, is determined automatically in game (rather than relying on the Code of Conduct), and gives everyone freedom and security at the same time. The last part might be impossible but it doesn’t mean we can’t try to improve the current system.

The purpose of this post is to get player comments, feedback and ideas about a possible improvement.

Beacon Protection Perimeters:

One relatively simple option that has been suggested in the past and I’ve since been exploring is to implement an automatic protection of the plots around a beacon’s perimeter based on prestige.

  • As a beacon’s prestige increases the depth of the protected perimeter automatically increases.
    • Buffer zones would be small: 1, 2, or 3 plots.
    • Alternatively all beacons would have a fixed protection zone - independent of their prestige.
  • If another player attempts to plot within a protected perimeter than it will fail and report who the plots are protected for.
  • This would mean that there would become 4 different types of plot cells:
    • Plotted - plots already claimed within a beacon.
    • Reserved - unclaimed plots vertically above or below a beacon.
    • Protected - unclaimed plots within the protected perimeter of the beacon.
    • Wild - unclaimed plots.

This would mean that everyone will know that as they expand their beacon and prestige there will always be a zone around their beacon that can’t be claimed by others. They would still need to place plots in the protected perimeter if they wanted to build within it.

If there are 2 beacons close to each other then:

  • Instead of plotting up to each other’s beacons, they would only be able to plot up to each other’s protection perimeters.
  • Beacon protected perimeters can overlap with others. When this happens neither beacon owner would be able to claim plot in the overlapped region without permission.
  • If a protection perimeter expands into another players beacon, they would still be able to expand above or below their current plots. The protection is only given to wild plots.
  • It doesn’t matter who’s protection was there first. The system doesn’t care about that. It only looks at the current plot and asks if there is a beacon within range with sufficient prestige to have a protection claim over it.

We would also add the following complementary features:

  1. Plotting permission: We will add a new beacon permission which allows a friend to plot in your protected perimeter. If your protection perimeter overlaps with another player they would need to give you permission to plot within this doubly protected region. If you were to remove the permission they would no longer be able to claim new plots, but they wouldn’t lose the plots they already have. (And they’d still be able to claim vertically.)

  2. Disable the perimeter: For player who want to build Settlements and roads and infrastructure they will be able to disable the protection perimeter on their beacon. This would be equivalent to giving all players permission to plot in their perimeter.

I think in general this is a relatively simple solution. It will increase restrictions on placing plots. But it will give players the protection of a buffer between each other with the options of removing it. It will likely make creating Settlements more complicated and harder.

If you have better or alternative ideas then please let us know below.

Q. Do you think that we should implement a beacon protection perimeter system:

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


  1. We will still need the on the Code of Conduct when players believe others are deliberately restricting their play with the only intention of malice.

  2. We don’t plan to allow plotting above or below another player’s beacon.

  3. This system doesn’t attempt to deal with forced Settlement merging. Retaining a Settlement’s identity will be resolved by features coming in the Guild system.

  4. Protected plots are still editable, mineable, and exposed to regen.


that’s a great Idea. I think a lot of people will feel the same!


Can you pin topics on this forum? I’d suggest pinning it before/incase it gets lost and people don’t see to comment!
It’s a wonderful chance at a good change here!


I would like to add another suggestion, that I posted elsewhere but is by now certainly buried, that I think it would complement this feature nicely:

Add an option for beacon owners within a settlement to ‘transfer’ their prestige, only for the purposes of determining who is the warden (without interfering with footfall in any way) to another beacon within the settlement.

By default, of course, the prestige would go to the beacon owner, requiring player input to ‘lend’ the beacon’s prestige to a different one, and of course, the player could switch back to retaining their prestige at any time.

This would help alleviate some of the conflicts regarding retaining the settlement name, making it so that the majority of the beacons within the settlement are able to safeguard a bit better against a single, prestige-heavy beacon taking over and deciding on the name against the wishes of all settlement residents.

That way, if they disagree with the current warden, they can combine their prestige towards ‘voting’, in a way, for a warden that they feel would better represent their identity, while still allowing for the warden position to be fluid.


I am for this. A soft gradual beacon protection plan seems to be better than an all or nothing protection plan.

What size of protected area are we talking about? If I felt like being enterprising, what would stop me from plotting as close to a smaller settlement as possible and building gleam towers to try and expand my protected zone until it enveloped the settlement and sell off the permission to the existing settlement? Depending on how far this protected zone can expand, I see potential for abuse. If it is only a plot or three in any direction, maybe not too bad.


The ability to turn it on and off is great and what really tipped me in its favor. Good for growing cities to turn off but if you like your smaller settlement you can keep it protected.

Great idea!

However, for permissions, do they have to be on your friend list? What if I just want to invite someone in (Or I myself join) but we don’t want/need to be friends?

1 Like

Sounds good at first glance. I don’t think it should scale up based on prestige though. Here’s an example.

Say I have a 4x4 plot for a small rustic house in the country about 10 plots away from a settlement. With this we’ll say I have 1 plot ring of protected plots around my area. As the prestige of the settlement grows the protected ring of plots could eventually overlap and potentially go past my build even without them coming physically closer. In this scenario would I not be unintentionally blocked from expanding my plots in the direction away from the settlement due to the large prestige based protection ring?

A bit of clarification could clear this up.

Everything else sounds good though.


To clarify: if two beacons’ protection perimeters overlap, both players have to give each other permission before either can claim a plot in that overlap?



You caught that too eh? :slight_smile:

That said, I feel the protection bubble is probably the best work around you guys are going to be able to come out with at this stage of the game. It’s not perfect by any means but it goes a long way to squashing potential squabbles and lets those who prefer, have a sense of boundary, which wasn’t really available before without excessive plotting.


It seems unnecessary, and people would still complain, as it would essentially just be “moving the goal post.” Besides, ridiculously tall gleam towers would still be seen muddying up the skyline from half a planet away.

More importantly, I would rather see dev resources and time spent developing other things, like added content (clothes, furniture, mobs). If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one.


I wonder if this should actually be based on settlement prestige rather than beacon prestige. That way large settlements naturally get a larger buffer at their edges.

Might make for permissions management hell, though.


I love Gleam towers. I think they’re pretty. :wink:


We don’t know the extent to which they need to add/change code. It could be as simple as a few lines and it’s done and implemented. Hardly any dev resources taken up at all here. There could also be a few devs who are free to do other things while waiting for previously worked on things to get added. I highly doubt they’re wasting resources, given the rate at which they tackled the massive PS4 issues that were exposed over the last month,

The above is why I voted no.


Perhaps adding a time modifier would make it work better. Essentially the same system you have outlined except that the protection zone would have a multiplier based on time. The longer the settlement was in place, the stronger the protection. This way someone couldn’t simply plot right outside of the protection zone and build a gleam tower to override the protection. if the time modifier is strong enough they would never be able to catch up.

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I am concerned with possible fallout from this:

If high prestige builds in an existing settlement turn this feature on, they can effectively lock up other members of the settlement from exchanging plots. Even low prestige builds could accomplish this to immediate neighbors.

Also, say that I am building a settlement - so I make my roads unrestricted - what happens when the players building NEXT to the roads have “buffers” that extend beyond the road to the other side? Will they then block players on that side of the road from building?

Could this be made a setting for an entire settlement that could be controlled by the mayor?


The idea as outlined would do nothing to protect settlements, just beacons.

The issues with ‘people blocking cities from growing’ would not be changed in any way by this proposal, either, if I’m interpreting it correctly, as it seems really impractical to have a functioning city with all the overlapping beacon protection zones around each of the cities individual beacons. :man_shrugging:

I also feel this would over complicate things.

It would cause issues in busy towns where not everyone would use the disable option or may be inactive and large dead zones would be created for free unlike now that requires plots to be bought.

Not to mention it’s already hard to tell where peoples plots are and where there are none unless you walk right up to the area with a beacon to get the highlight and adding another type of protection zone would add to this confusion.

People need to understand that if they want to expand or keep neighbors away from your building a bit to add extra plots around the area for this purpose and it works well enough not to mention plots are a major source on income for this game one would assume and this would actually give people ways to claim more area for gleam bombs or such.


The idea sounds good, but my vote is a big no. It’ll create a lot of problems for cities. First, roads, you can create an initial layout without protection, but after that when the city start to grow it will be impossible to create straight roads because lot of people just create a nice building and move on to another planet, so you need to start tracking down a lot of people to get new roads.
The second problem is usually roads are one plot width, so if you get enough prestige before anyone plot on the other side, again, people need to start tracking other players to ask permission.
The guild system sounds good, because if a city can be part of a guild and the warden is someone who cares about the city, you can give him the rights to remove protection.

What about a new plotter, that adds this protected plot status but use something like 1/3 plot, so you can reserve 3 plots and spend only one?